NASA’s X-ray image of the Tycho Supernova
NASA’s X-ray image of the Tycho Supernova

Deadliest Cosmic Queries

The Tycho Supernova. Image Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/RIKEN & GSFC/T. Sato et al; Optical: DSS.
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About This Episode

On this episode of StarTalk Radio, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice are ready to get morbid. We’ve gathered your fan-submitted Cosmic Queries that explore all things death, from the death of humanity to the death of the universe.  

To start, we explore what reality would be like in an apocalypse. Neil tells us what skills he thinks would be necessary to survive in a post-apocalyptic world. We discuss the importance of having the right weapon in a post-apocalyptic world. This leads Neil to air his grievances with the lightsabers found in Star Wars. You’ll find out how a meteor strike would disrupt civilization as we know it. We also explore The Walking Dead and its emphasis on the true danger of a zombie apocalypse: human relationships. 

Discover more about the death of humanity. Will we outlive the Earth? How long will humanity survive? Are artificially intelligent computers secretly waiting to take over the world? We break down the inverse relationship between intelligence and survival. Neil describes how the universe will end not with a bang, but with a whimper. 

Find out how Neil and Chuck want to die! We investigate the 2005 film War of the Worlds and how it differs from the original story by H.G. Wells. Neil recites the final narration from the film and from the original story. 

Then, we dive headfirst into black holes. We ponder if the universe could be victim to a collective hyper-massive black hole. You’ll also hear about Hawking radiation. You’ll learn the difference between disintegrating and decomposing. Lastly, we debate if human contact is necessary for your own survival. All that, plus, you’ll find out who might have been the loneliest person in history. 

Thanks to this week’s Patrons for supporting us on Patreon: Aaron Colwell, Stephanie Judd, Kris Butler, Nipon Tuntariyanond, Lidia Jevtic.

NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons and All-Access subscribers can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free.

In This Episode

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